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"Riverdale" lead KJ Apa has been posting Instagrams and TikToks of him and his big old beard, and his new unkempt look is dividing fans.
Apa, who plays Archie in The CW show, is usually clean-shaven for his role as a high schooler and wears his hair in a tidy quiff, dyed red.
His new aesthetic is more akin to Tom Hanks in "Castaway."
Some fans have compared the "Riverdale" star to actor Noah Centineo, who shaved his head and grew out a beard during lockdown.
Others have defended Apa for trying something different and enjoying himself.
KJ Apa has more hair on his face than he did previously, and it's totally disorientating "Riverdale" fans.
The actor, like many, has chosen to grow out his hair during the coronavirus pandemic.
However, as someone who's known for playing a fresh-faced highschooler, his new look is a far cry from what fans are used to seeing on The CW's teen drama.
Followers of Apa on Instagram can track the full transition of his beard, starting with the heavy stubble he's been seen wearing in between shooting seasons of "Riverdale" in the past ...
To a little more fuzz ...
To now, which is nearing Tom Hanks in "Castaway" territory (the beach background really adds to this analogy):
To make things even more bewildering for "Riverdale" fans, Apa's signature red locks, which are dyed when he becomes the lead character Archie, have been replaced by his natural auburn-brown, and are a lot longer than his usually carefully manicured quiff.
Apa has previously expressed his dislike for the constant dyeing required to maintain Archie's redhead, telling Vulture in 2017 that when they first dyed his eyebrows it burnt into his skin: "It's pretty gnarly, man."
The actor's new unkempt look has garnered some attention on Twitter, not all of it good.
In a post with over 100,000 likes at the time of writing, an Ariana Grande fan account @bocasclouds posted a side-by-side of Apa and Noah Centineo with their new quarantine beards with the caption: "remember when y'all called these men 'the sexiest men alive'... i ain't forget."
—edar (@bocasclouds) July 5, 2020
Apa did get some defense in the responses, though. In a fairly lewd rebuttal, @lovinswtnr wrote: "riverdale boy could still get it looking all musty."
—mili ♡ blm (@lovinswtnr) July 5, 2020
"kj apa is still hot though his beard is just a bit wild rn....," wrote @clauifernandez.
—♑︎ CLAUDIA ☆ (@clauifernandez) July 6, 2020
Many fans also referenced Apa's new TikTok account, which he started a few days ago under the username fifiisqueen.
"is kj apa okay? what did quarantine do to him," @thollandaya tweeted along with one of Apa's TikToks where he dances topless to "Stunnin'" by Curtis Waters.
—𝐞𝐦 (@thollandaya) July 6, 2020
Who knows what Apa is up to, but @TunaMeltPanini perhaps put it best: "KJ Apa grew that beard and now won't stop feeling himself."
—Raymond, those slacks are a knock out (@TunaMeltPanini) July 6, 2020
As Teen Vogue pointed out, Apa isn't the only "Riverdale" star to try out a new look during the current pandemic. Jughead Jones actor Cole Sprouse sported a goatee, which he himself wrote would "sever [his] audience in twain."
"I was growing my hair out and my mustache for a role, but then quarantine hit, and I figured, you know what? I'm going to be playing a 17-year-old for the next 80 years of my life. I might as well give myself a second to actually figure if I can grow a mustache," Cole told Jimmy Fallon in May.
"Riverdale" season five could look very different indeed.
Read the original article on Insider